Barcelona find themselves three points behind rivals Real Madrid in La Liga as they travel to El Molinon on Saturday to take on Sporting Gijon. Luis Enrique’s side are third on the table now with 10 points from five games whereas the hosts are tenth with seven points. The hosts started their season in a strong fashion and collected seven points in their first three games but lost both of their two games after that against Atletico Madrid and Celta Vigo respectively.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are on the back of a 1-1 stalemate against Atletico Madrid in the midweek and will be keen to get back to winning ways to catch up with their rivals Real Madrid on the table. Barcelona defeated Gijon both times last season. They won the home game 6-0 while defeating the then-newly promoted side 1-3 away from home.
Barcelona have a Champions League game in the next midweek against Borussia Monchengladbach and we can expect a few changes from Luis Enrique. Here is the predicted Barcelona lineup against Sporting Gijon.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen will keep his place under the bar. We expect Aleix Vidal to relieve Sergi Roberto in the right-back position. Gerard Pique is likely to start in central defence alongside Jeremy Mathieu. In the left back, we expect Lucas Digne to take the place of Jordi Alba who had played three back to back games and needs some much-deserved rest.
Sergio Busquets will keep his place at the base of Barcelona midfield and will orchestrate the game from deep. His job will be to win the ball and spray it across the pitch dictating the tempo of the game. Andre Gomes is likely to get a chance in the middle of the park. Denis Suarez is also a strong contender for a starting place. Both Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic are likely to be rested against Sporting Gijon.
Lionel Messi suffered a groin injury against Atletico Madrid and will miss the trip to Sporting. In the Argentine’s absence, we expect Arda Turan to start on the right flank. Luis Suarez will ply his trade as the focal point of the attack. Brazil’s Olympic hero Neymar will continue on the left. Lionel Messi is a big miss for the Blaugrana but Luis Enrique will hope his side can cope up with his absence.